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  • EU Structural Funds 2007- 2013

    European Regional Development Fund

    Grant Scheme

    For

    Sustainable Tourism Projects by Enterprises

    Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    Call 3

    Tourism and Sustainable Development Unit

    Office of the Prime Minister

    Operational Programme I Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life

    Aid Schemes part-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

    Co-financing: EU Funds, National Funds, and Private Funds

    Investing in your future

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    1

    Contents

    Part 1 Introduction to the Guidance Notes

    1 Introduction ... 4

    2 Applicant Entities .. 7

    2.1 General Eligibility Criteria to apply for funding. 7

    2.2 Demarcation between the Grant Scheme and other forms of Structural Funds..... 8

    2.3 State Aid 10

    2.3.1 Definition of Investment 12

    2.4 Target Beneficiaries of the Grant Scheme 13

    2.4.1 Small, Medium and Large Enterprises 17

    2.4.2 Application submitted by Associations 20

    2.4.3 Enterprise with government shareholding. 22

    2.5 Ineligible Expenditure...... 22

    2.5.1 Compliance issues Related to MTA Licensed Entities.. 23

    2.6 Funding Thresholds.. 24

    2.7 MEPA Permits 27

    Part 2 The Application Process

    Introduction: Project Proposals and Requirements of the Operational Programme (OP 1) 29

    Aims of Sustainable European Tourism . 29

    Section 1: The Applicant. 31

    Section 2: Networks 35

    Section 3: The Project. 37

    Section 4: Strategic Priorities. 49

    Section 5: Project Budget 65

    Section 6: Supporting Documentation.. 66

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    2

    Part 3 Overview of the Evaluation Process

    3 Introduction. 73

    3.1 Eligibility Criteria. 75

    3.2 Preliminary Evaluation 77

    3.2.1 Risk Appraisal.. 77

    3.2.2 Extent of Need for Support. 79

    3.2.3 Number of Eligible Intervention Areas Implemented in the Project. 79

    3.3 Strategic Evaluation 79

    3.3.1 Horizontal Priorities. 80

    3.3.2 Thematic Priorities.. 80

    3.4 Appeals Procedure 80

    Part 4 Conditionalities and Risks

    4.1 Submission of Update Quotations / New Quotations. 82

    4.2 Commencement of Projects 82

    4.3 Breach of the Agreements.. 83

    4.4 Retention of Documentation 83

    4.5 Proof of Project Progress. 84

    4.6 Payment Process.. 84

    4.7 Publicity 88

    4.8 Checks and Monitoring. 88

    4.8.1 Enterprise Accounts 89

    Glossary and Definition of Terms 90

    IB CONTACT DETAILS... 92

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    3

    List of Abbreviations

    AWU: Annual Working Units

    CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility

    EDC: Evaluation and Decisions Committee

    EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

    ERDF: European Regional Development Fund

    IB: Intermediate Bodies

    MA: Managing Authority

    MEC: Ministry for Education and Culture

    MEPA: Malta Environment and Planning Authority

    MTA: Malta Tourism Authority

    NGO: Non-Governmental Organisation

    NSRF: National Strategic Reference Framework

    PPCD: Priorities and Planning Coordination Directorate

    UNWTO: United Nations World Tourism Organisation

    R & I: Research and Innovation

    SAMB: State Aid Monitoring Board

    SCH: Superintendence for Cultural Heritage

    SME: Small and Medium Enterprises

    VAT: Value added tax

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    4

    Part 1 Introduction to the Guidance Notes

    1 Introduction

    The primary aim of this document is that of a guidance tool to be used by any

    prospective applicant in identifying whether an organisation is eligible for assistance,

    what kind of projects and interventions are eligible for grant assistance, and what are

    the steps in the application process and eventual implementation of approved projects.

    These Guidance Notes are intended to assist applicants in the submission of their

    projects for support under the Grant Scheme for Sustainable Tourism Projects by

    Enterprises.

    The Guidance Notes set out the main rules of eligibility for European funding under the

    Grant Scheme for Sustainable Tourism Projects by Enterprises, falling under

    Operational Programme I (Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life). All

    applications submitted under this Grant Scheme for funding will be screened against the

    Common Eligibility and Selection Criteria identified, as approved by the Monitoring

    Committee. Part 3 provides more details on these criteria and the procedure each

    Application Form will follow.

    This document is based on the Structural Funds eligibility criteria which are specified at

    a more generic level in the following documents:

    the European Commission Regulations on the Structural Funds (Regulation (EC)

    No.1083/2006);

    the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the Operational

    Programme (OP1), which are available online on the website of the Managing

    Authority for Structural Funds (www.ppcd.gov.mt) ;

    any other implementation guidelines provided by the Managing Authority;

    European Structural Funds are covered by regulations, rules and implementation

    provisions which apply to all projects, are legally binding and apply in all Member

    States. The Grant Scheme for Sustainable Tourism Projects by Enterprises will be co-

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    5

    financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Legislative guidelines

    which apply directly to the Scheme include the following:1

    Council Regulation (EC) 1083/2006 (the General Regulation) lays down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/19992 and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    Council Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 laying down specific rules on the European Regional Development Fund while repealing Regulation (EC) No 1783/19993 and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    General Block Exemption 800/2008 and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006 On the de minimis rule and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    Communication to the Commission Article 93 Council Regulation 1083/2006 On the Application of the n+2 rule and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    Regulation (EC) No. 1828/2006 On Information and Publicity Measures and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    Visual Identity Guidelines (These guidelines support the Manual of Procedures 2007 2013) and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    1 The list of Regulations herein provided above is not exhaustive.

    2 And as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 1989/2006, Council Regulation (EC) No 1341/2008, Council Regulation (EC) No 284/2009, Regulation No 539/2010 of the European Parliament & of the Council.

    3 And as amended by Regulation No 397/2009 of the European Parliament & of the Council.

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    6

    Commission Recommendation (2003/361/EC) Concerning the definition of Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement;

    Council Regulation No. 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities and any subsequent amendments made to it, following the signing of the Grant Agreement.

  • Guidance Notes to the Application Form

    7

    2 Applicant Entities

    The scheme is governed by National, Commission and Council regulations including

    those stipulated in Section 1 of these Guidance Notes. Applicants must first and

    foremost plan to implement a project that relates directly to tourism and the

    development of the sector in Malta. In order to be eligible for funding under this scheme,

    applicants must be primarily engaged in an economic activity. The scheme will co-

    finance projects undertaken by enterprises/undertakings4 and other projects falling

    under Article 87 of the Treaty.

    An enterprise is considered to be an entity engaged in an economic activity, irrespective

    of its legal form. This includes in particular self employed persons, family businesses

    engaged in craft or other activities and partnerships or associations regularly engaged

    in an economic activity.5

    In the case of Associations / NGOs, applicants must ensure to carry out an economic

    activity at application stage or as a result of the project. Applicants are also suggested

    to discuss their projects with the State Aid Monitoring Board prior to submitting the

    project for funding. The Evaluation Committee will request the boards opinion during

    the evaluation process. Projects that are not considered to have an economic activity

    will be eliminated from the evaluation process.

    2.1 G